Why Are So Many People Fat?

I’m a critical thinker. So when something doesn’t feel right, I ask questions and come to my own decisions based on facts.

When it comes to health and diet there is a plethora of information out there. And lots of opposite information. It is very confusing.

I started thinking about the obesity problem that is going on here in the US and in other parts of the world.

why are so many people obese?
Why are so many people fat?

Why are so many people fat? Why do we have more type 2 diabetes than ever before?

When I was a kid, my Mom and Dad referred to type 2 diabetes as “sugar diabetes” because it was rare that a child would get it. It was an “older” person disease.

I remember being a young woman in the 1990’s. I learned that fats were bad for you. It seemed during this time that everything became low fat or no fat. I remember eating Snackwells and thinking that I was doing a good thing for my body. I wasn’t.

If you read the label of these Snackwells cookies, you will see that they have no nutritional value. I remember the marketing used to talk about how it didn’t include any fat. Fat makes you fat, eat Snackwells.

If you look back in history since the early 1990’s the obesity rate has gone up dramatically and so has type 2 diabetes.

Guess what!? We had it all wrong.

Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat.

sugarThe culprit to obesity is sugar!

Sugar is way more addictive than cocaine. So people keep eating more of it. I was one of them.

Read about my sugar addiction here.

I didn’t realize how addicted to sugar I was. I thought I was eating a healthy diet by eating low fat and counting calories. I was doing it all wrong and making myself sicker.

Today, I noticed that same Snackwell’s has new packaging. It still says fat-free. But now on the front of the box it says, “without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or artificial flavors or preservatives”. So you would think that this would be a healthy snack.

But if you take a close look at the label, there is virtually no nutritional value in the cookies. If you look at the label, it looks like there is 14g of carbs and 9g of sugar. And this is just for 1 cookie.

1985 there was 10% obesity in the United States. Now it is up to 35%! Obesity is very common. And it is getting worse every day.

It makes me really sad every time I see a child who is obese. Or when I hear that someone died from complications of obesity.

But my biggest frustrations comes from the fact that many doctors don’t even give their patients the correct information. I’m not sure why. Some say it is because of the pharmaceutical companies give them a kick-back. Others say it is because they were taught the wrong information in the first place.

All I know is it is pretty simple. We (folks in the US) started getting fat after we started eating more processed food which was high in sugar.

What do you think is the cause of the obesity problem? Does obesity affect your life? Do you know someone who is obese or has diabetes?

 

 

46 thoughts on “Why Are So Many People Fat?”

  1. Very informative article. I’m certainly not going to eat snackwells anymore. i’m also going to start looking at the nutritional facts label more too. I really agree that sugar is addictive. I can remember times when I would almost go crazy if I couldn’t find something sweet to snack on. It’s really hard to get off the sugar but after your article I’m determined to try.

    1. Once you are off the sugar, it is way easy. I honestly don’t miss it. I thought I would, but I don’t. As for reading the labels, be aware that you really need to pay attention to the actual ingredient. I have seen many times where it says sugar free, yet in the ingrediant it has other sugary items like mapel or corn syrup or honey. It is all sugar.

      1. Great article. Sugar addiction is very real and I also had it even when I was eating TONS of fruit.

        What frustrates me is how these so-called “healthy” VEGAN protein bars and other snacks of the genre contain so much sugar like agave nectar which isn’t good for you even if it is natural (there are mixed opinions). So I definitely agree with you that we need to doublecheck the labels and especially the ones where the packaging screams out how healthy and natural the food is.

        Same thing for the vegan cookbooks that I’m going through: so many of these “healthy” recipes have so much sugar in them like honey and maple syrup (as you mentioned). It’s scary how we are being mislead.

        I guess there’s really no way around it but to cook your own stuff and ADAPT the recipes to reduce the amount of sugar.

        Anyway question for you: I have greatly reduced my sugar intake but from time to time I still get major cravings. What can you suggest for me to curb these sugar cravings?

        1. Hi Vanessa! My favorite treat is heavy cream whipped up with a few berries or I’ll have whipping cream with some sugar-free jello. I don’t add any sweetener to the cream but you can add stevia if you would like.

  2. Sugar is a drug, it is addictive and people do not realize how much of it they are consuming. It is in everything! Ketchup, juices, canned soup, pasta sauces….. People also don’t realize that the simple carbs they are eating such as refined breads or pastas are also being converted into sugar within their bodies. When you stop eating sugar, your body goes through withdrawals and detox, it is quite a crazy experience.

    1. You are so right, Andrea. Sugar is hidden in everything. It is so difficult to avoid it. I have found that the only way to really avoid it is to only eat real food.

  3. Wendy, sugar is evil and it is found in almost every processed food, including the sauces and powdered seasoning we use to make our foods “dangerously delicious.” Thanks for an informative and an easy to read post. Keep writing and sharing.

        1. Josephine, I so much wish you lived next door. You and I could talk for hours. 🙂 This is a topic that upsets me very much. It makes me angry what we (people) are doing to our world. We are actually going to end up killing ourselves. The chemicals we spill in the air and water is making not just us sick but also the animals. It is really sad and frustrating because I feel like, “What can I do?”. Well, I suppose you and I can just do our best to let folks know that chemicals do cause many health problems. And a sure sign of health problems is obesity. Obesity is the first sign that something is wrong and often the root cause of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers. I think it is pretty clear that there is lots of added chemicals to food. And, of course, it’s a good idea to avoid processed food. They feed cows antibiotics as well. So we can be a proactive as we can to avoid any food that has been processed. And when we eat meat try to find the meat that is hormone and antibiotic free.

          Sadly, We can’t avoid all of the chemicals. But perhaps we can avoid many of the health issues by being proactive with what we put in our bodies.

  4. Hey Wendy,

    Great article to read about the struggle you had faced. Like most I think sugar is defiantly the culprit and how addicting it can really be. These days a ton of sugar is added to everything we eat and drink. I think for most of us we have to be really careful as to what we put into our mouths.

    1. Yes, unfortunately we have to be very careful of what we put in our mouths. Folks have to be very careful to read the ingredient of everything.

  5. Great article and informative.
    I know a lot of the preservatives that go into foods nowadays is alarming. Not to mention obesity and type 2 diabetes, but a lot of other ailments occur over the course of time.
    I know easier said than done, but I know when grocery shopping, it is always good to shop around the perimeter of the store as opposed to the aisles in between. (I find the healthy and fresh produce, breads, meats and dairy is in the perimeter).
    As for sugars, there seems to be more of the evils of sweetness in a lot of foods- companies are going one step further for their costs/mass production by using corn syrups, and other forms of fructose which is something our bodies do not produce as opposed to the glucose.
    This is no help in fighting obesity and diabetes as it seems too much of a coincidence of the health issues rising.
    Thank you for the read and hope many people just become more aware of issues like this and help themselves by prevention.

    Michael

    1. Shopping the perimeter of the store is a great way to do it, Michael. And you are right about people need to take it upon themselves to be aware of issues. We got to be willing to educate ourselves.

  6. You are absolutely right! Sugar is definitely not something that is really useful to us now. I know that in the past (like way past i’m talking cave man days here) they say that the sweet taste signified something that was rich in energy and necessary to aid survival, but now that we live in an age of abundance, those instincts are actually working to our detriment. I also agree that it can be very confusing trying to research something. Even looking through scientific studies done by the “experts” you’ll always find conflicting studies and reports. Great article!

    1. It is confusing because even the experts can’t agree. I’m just listening to my body. And for the first time in many years, my body is pleased with what I’m feeding it. 🙂

  7. I love all the information you have on this page and how it is all laid out. I have struggled with weight my entire life even when I wasn’t eating sugar (I lived a portion of my life in a 3rd world nation in a village with huts etc) I know sugar is definitely part of my problem. This is one of the big reasons when my husband and I had our first child we decided to rarely if ever give them sugar. 4 years later I can count on one hand the times we have given them sugar every month. They definitely crash about a half hour afterwards. They aren’t used to it and that’s a good thing. After reading this page I am going to be watching the nutritional information on things even more than I already do. Thank you so much!!

  8. I completely agree with you Wendy. Sugar is the cause. You can eat foods high in fat (olive oil, hemp oil, fish oil, etc) you can eat lots of protein (meat, tofu, etc) Sugar and fake sugar causes obesity.

    Beware of labels that say “No sugar added,” however!

    A popular fruit cup you can buy which bears that label only has 1gram less total sugar per CUP. However, they added several other ingredients to it that are much worse than sugar. The fruit cup of the same brand that doesn’t say “No sugar added” actually has NO added sugar, either, it just has more of the fruit juice.

    My only effort to control my weight is to limit myself to 20G sugar per meal – no snacks, only water and non-sweetened tea (with LOTS of lemons – whose sugar I do not count). I don’t count carbs or anything else, but I have a lot of fiber in my diet and eat almost no red meat (though I had a steak last night :p).

    I have maintained the same weight, exactly, for years and years. Despite a very sedentary lifestyle.

    1. It sounds like you are doing great, Brandon. I don’t count the carbs or sugar in lemons either. And I know exactly what you mean about the fruit cups. They hide the sugar on the labels. It is really frustrating. I just avoid all processed food. This way I know exactly what is in it.

  9. Hi Wendy. I know that it’s more difficult to loss weight as we age, because I’ve experienced it. I’m 65 yrs old, and have been monitoring my weight for at least twenty years. I’ve lost large amounts of weight a few times. ( 30-40 lbs. Obviously, I gained the weight back a few times. But I have never been obese or anything close to that. But I have learned that as we age, we need to be more strict as far as what we eat. We don’t seem to get as much exercise, so eating seems to play a bigger part. I have adjusted to my different levels of activity, bu adjusting how many calories I take in. It still will always boil down to taking in calories, and burning calories. Thanks for your post and for your website. Everyone needs to take their weight and their health seriously.

    1. Thank you Jim. I agree that everyone should take their weight and health seriously. I think sometimes people just don’t know what to do or they are simply in denial. I look at it a bit differently then you though. Counting calories never worked for me. Because often high fat foods have more calories than carbs do. And carbs make my body have crazy cravings and spikes in my sugar. Plus when I eat more fat, and low carbs I lose weight. But if it works for you than keep doing it. I think we are all different.

  10. Thank you for such an informative article, the title did make me laugh. I thought you was making fun of fat people at first, it is all true what you say about what is making us fat.

    Processed foods are not healthy for us, people live on them instead of eating them in moderation. Reading the food labels will surprise many people, so much sugar and sodium in everything I could not believe it.

    1. I know what you mean! It is ridiculous the amount of sugar and sodium in processed foods. Reading the food labels are real eye openers for many people. I think if people stopped eating processed food and didn’t change anything else with their diet, they would still lose weight.

  11. A very interesting and well researched article. You are definitely right when you point the finger at sugar being the major contributor to obesity in modern society. Food manufacturers add to the problem by being very deceptive in the way they seek to enhance the flavors of canned foods, such as soups and baked beans etc by adding sugar to the ingredients. I try to steer clear of buying canned products for that very reason as you shouldn’t have to scan food labels to determine whether the food is healthy for you or not. Best to buy food in its natural state as fresh produce.

  12. Wow what a great post.
    You are so right about sugar… Don’t you think though that salt it also responsible for a lot of healthy issues these days, including obesity?
    I am not that old but I’ve seen an increase in obesity in my country, where we’re supposed to have the best food (France =). Why do you think that is? Why are they making us FAT? O.O
    There’s enough sugar in fruit… why add sugar (or salt).. I heard that it’s all about money. Sugar and salt make products heavier and thus companies can sell at a better price.. or something like that.
    Anyway… obesity is a serious issue and I hope more people come across your website
    Blessings
    Sarah

    1. Thank you so much for the nice compliment, Sarah. You are very sweet.

      As I was reading your post, I was nodding my head because you are so right. It is about money! Companies know how addictive sugar is. And they add salt as well as chemicals (some unsafe) to food to make is taste so delicious that people can’t say no to it. And they will buy it over and over again. And not only that, they hide sugar in foods as well by using different names in hopes that people won’t understand that there is so much sugar in the product. Food that are marketed toward kids is the worst, for example cereal.

      I have heard that France is a healthy country. I don’t think you guys eat all of the crap that we do here in the US. It is really sad. I think the best thing for folks is to eat real food.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  13. Wendy, you have pointed out the real culprit really. I have a lot of weight to shed and I have been looking for a good diet plan, gradually by reading various blogs I realized that being aware of the food we eat can be a pivotal thing for weight loss because even though people avoid taking sugar directly, we are unknowingly eating a lot of sugar!

    “Low carb” and “fat free”, two things that the food industry has highly used to sell their products just as you mentioned about those cookies. If we stay alert we will know how sugar is getting into our system in large amount through various know and unknown ways, it really can make a big difference I believe. Thank you for reminding.

    1. Hi Hari. It really is about becoming educated and asking a lot of questions. I pretty much question anything that is going in my mouth these days. For the most part, I eat real food. An egg is simply an egg, so I can trust that there isn’t any added sugar. But anything that is packaged in any way, I read the label. And often sugar is the 1st or second ingredient. They sneak it in everything. I wish you all the best.

  14. This is an interesting post, reminding us that fat is not the cause of obesity, but carbs. Fat can be burned easily while carbs are harder to burn. Cereals company used to advertise that cereals are good for health but that is pure bullsh*t.

    1. Yes, it is pure bs! And the sad thing is children are the ones who get hurt. The obesity rate in children is really sad. Parents should educate themselves and read the labels for hidden sugar. Many cereal’s have sugar as the second ingredient! A more traditional breakfast of eggs and bacon would be so much healthier. And children would be able to focus more in school. Instead, people send their kids off hyped up on sugar and the teachers want to put the kids on add medication. I think nutrition plays a huge role in behavior issues.

      I’m sorry for my vent. This topic hits me hard, because I was one of those Moms who gave my kids PopTarts or Lucky Charms. My only excuse is that I wasn’t educated. Now I am. Hopefully, I can help others.

      Thanks so much, Stan! I wish you all the best.

  15. I’m pretty much convinced that fast-food is the main reason why so many people are fat. Now granted, fast-food has a very high level of fat, I’m sure, but the sheer quantity of the food that people eat is mind blowing. And of course the salt and sugar. What about diet drinks? You know the typical fast -food order… a super sized bacon cheeseburger super sized fries, and a diet COKE. What do you think of fast food?

    1. I think fast food is horrible especially if someone eats it often. The biggest problem with fast food is the fries which are already high in carbs are deep fried in trans fats or vegetable oil. The problem with diet soda is that there isn’t any nutritional value and your body gets tricked into thinking you are drinking something sweet. So it may hold onto the extra weight. I think a diet soda once in a while is fine.

      By the way, I have eaten fast food on this diet and still lost weight. I simply order a cheeseburger or bacon cheeseburger with no ketchup and no bun. I don’t order fries and I order an unsweet tea or water.

      1. My wife has cheeseburgers with no bread because she doesn’t want the calories. But I know that everyone says how bad bread is for you, especially bread with processed flour. Tonight I’m having a protein shake made with milk. That’s so I don’t eat a bunch of junk. I’m trying this fat diet to see how its works. I’ll keep letting you know.

        1. If you want to lose weight with low carb, high fat then you will want to reduce foods that are high in sugar and carbs. Look at the label. You want items that say <1 carb. And if you see sugar in the ingredient you will want to avoid it. By the way, milk has about 12 grams of carbs! That is actually a lot of sugar. I don't drink milk at all or yogurt. If you read the labels it will help you out a bit. Good Luck!

  16. Yes, it’s really troublesome that so many of us are fat today. I live in Norway and it’s the same here as in the US maybe even worse in your country. But we also have a new problem here. Many of us just sit on a chair at work all day and when we come home from work we eat our dinner and sit in the sofa and don’t go out for a walk or do other exercises. That’s also a big problem together with food with lots of sugar and chemicals and preservatives.

    Tove

    1. This is such an important point, Tove. Thanks for bringing it up. It seems that machines are doing a lot of the physical jobs that humans used to have. And we are not nearly as active as we should be. I am fortunate that I work as a retail manager. I am on the go all day long, so I don’t sit until I drive home.

      I do worry about the children of today. They don’t eat a healthy diet and they sit and play video games or play with their phones. I worry about how out of control the obesity problem will get and how many sick children we will have as a result.

      Inactivity is a huge problem in the world today. I am very concerned.

      1. I do understand your concern, Wendy.
        I mean that adults and parents do have to be good role models for our children. They need to take charge and give their children the opportunity to eat a healthy diet. And be physically active with the children taken them out in nature and have both quality time and physical activities in nature.
        If the parents don’t lead the children will probably be less active.

        What do you mean?

        Tove

  17. Hi here. Thanks for spreading message about harm of sugar. I read that in the USA 70 percent of population are obese. It came from statistics. I guess that it is horrible and unpleasant news.
    Nobody wants to be fat. Unfortunately, nobody teaches parents and kids about nutrition. Fast food and soda are common staples. Of course , there are some people who grow own tomatoes, go to farmer market, exercise and read. Unfortunately, not so many of them.
    I guess that somebody will benefit from big people. Doctors will have jobs, hospitals will be profitable. Not so much fun.
    One thing I know that people can lose weight. I wrote about Rafael Zuniga who lost 529 pounds. He lost weight changing lifestyle. He changed food, started move, later on exercise. It is real.
    Thanks for the website which can inform about actual problems such as obesity.
    All the best, be healthy and wealthy, Nemira.

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